The managing director of Ageas Protect - part of Ageas UK - said while 2013 had been a tough year for the protection industry, 2014 would be a better year for the provider in terms of working more with intermediaries and bringing out relevant products.
He said: “There is no point bringing a me-too product to the market. We do not want to copy what everyone else has - or why would advisers come to us?
“It has to be innovative and that is what the team is getting their heads around now.”
The company, which already has a guaranteed product for the over-50s market, is looking to have “a full suite of products” that also has efficient and streamlined functionality supporting it.
Mr Spriggs added: “It might sound like a boring message but it is important to make the customer journey as easy as possible, so we are not just focusing on product design and development but looking at processes, such as helping advisers to put business on risk more efficiently.”
His comments came as Ageas UK announced a rise in total income of 5.2 per cent from 2012 to 2013, up from £2.04bn to £2.11bn.
Ageas Protect, which saw a slow 2013 after the rush to sign up in 2012, before the EU’s Gender Neutral Pricing Directive kicked in on 21 December 2012, grew its gross earned premiums 32.3 per cent over the year, and now has more than 300,000 lives assured.
Sarah Fullaway, director of Derby-based advisory firm Oviso, said: “I am a fan of the company as it is forward-thinking and has a little bit less red tape and you get to talk to people you need to talk to. I have a lot of time for Ageas in that respect. I have also found that it will be prepared to listen to you. It is one thing for insurance companies to come to market with products but it is another to bring what is needed. I would be interested in seeing what Ageas develops in the Whole of Life market as more choice can only be good for consumers.”